Thursday, May 6, 2010

Notes From A Mother To Her Children

I read a blog post a while back that really has stuck with me. It was simple, a meme that had been going around at the time the post was written, where you list 5 things you want your kids to know, 5 things you want to tell your children when they are grown up, 5 things you want to tell your children before you die, and 5 things you want your child to know before they die. You can also "tag" five people, instructing them to do the meme, but I try not to be bossy so what I'd rather do is post the meme, and if anyone else reads it and is inspired to post also, I'd love you to link it in the comments so that I can check out your top fives. Anyway ...

5 Things I Want My Kids To Know
  1. I am far from perfect, and I have never wanted you to see me as perfect. But I have loved you since before you were born, and lived each day struggling to do what I thought would be best for you. I remember each day that I carried you within my own body, nurturing you until it was time for you to enter the world and begin your own life. This is something that is unchanging, my love for you children as your mother. No matter what. Period.
  2. As much as I have loved you, remember that God loves you so much more than that. And that His love is even more unconditional than mine. There will be days in your lives when you are the prodigal, lost and on your own path, but God will love you through them. He will rejoice when you are on His path again, once again found and in His will. Try to stay on the path He creates for you ... It will make things easier.
  3. Remember that the world will not always guide you to do what is right. I live in a world where the culture is accepting of everything, and at this moment I can only imagine what the world will be like when you are teenagers, when you are young women trying to find your own way. Be courageous enough to do what is right even when it is not popular. I have had my "right" days, and I have had my "popular" days, and I can honestly say that though the "right" days were far more quiet, they are also preferable. It is worth it to live by the values set forth for you in the Bible and enjoy God's blessing, rather than following the crowd and forcing Him to spend your life cleaning up after you.
  4. Be content. Grateful, even. There are a lot of things that you don't have, and there are things you might want that you may never have. But never forget to appreciate the things you do have, because no matter what, someone in the world has it worse than you. If you live in a dingy apartment, be thankful that you aren't on a park bench covering up with a newspaper for warmth. If your eating the same damn thing again even though you hate it because it's what you can afford, be thankful that you can afford something to eat in a world where so many go hungry. And when you are alone, by thankful that God is always with you.
  5. Keep your honesty. I don't even know how to express how important this is. We are in a world that accepts lies as the truth, and each person is free to create his or her own truth. But you have been raised to know real, honest truth. Don't forget it, and don't succumb to the world. Honesty may not always be easy, but it will always be admirable in its difficulty. It will always be the right thing. And integrity is always in style.
5 Things I Want To Tell My Children When They Are "Grown Up"
  1. Be careful with your heart. Don't just give it to anyone, without knowing that they are worthy. Don't fall for just any boy or man, but choose a man who will be a strong leader in the home, a strong father to his children, and a man who will support your dreams while also being willing to share and allow you to support his. Don't pick a bum, and don't pick someone that your mom would think is a loser. Your dear old mom has been around the block a time or two ... I know a loser when I see one, and I love you enough to want you to be careful.
  2. Remember your self-worth. Going through the teenage years wasn't easy, I know. But you are worth something, your God created you with a specific plan for your life, and He would want you to remember how much He loves you. You don't have to look the way other people think you should, you don't always have to act the way other people should. Strive to please God and to allow His will in your life ... the rest will fall into place. But all the while, remember that you are special no matter who you are, no matter what you've done, and that you are worth something, worth everything, to God, and always to me. Don't forget to make sure you're worth something to yourself, too.
  3. I know the world is hard. I know that people can be terribly unkind. But don't forget to love the people of the world. Many of them are harsh because they are hurting, or because they've been hurt. Many people are silent because they are afraid to speak and be rejected. There are people in the world who have truly walked the hard road ... but even they are worth something to the God who created them. Remember that, and when you deal with other people, strive to deal with them as He would. Honestly, but with love.
  4. You know that girl that you've been friends with for forever? Keep her around. Some days, she will be one of many friends, and some days, she will be the only person who truly "gets" you. Sometimes when the days are hard she will be the only person who can say "It'll be okay" in a way that really helps. But here's the ticket. Appreciate each moment with her, and each connection that brings you closer together as friends. And don't forget. In order to have a friend, you have to be a friend.
  5. Work hard. People say nothing worth having comes easy, and I have always believed that. There is nothing in the world that is too hard if it is really worth it. Remember to have your priorities in order, set goals for yourself, and work to reach them. Much as it would be nice, the world won't simply hand you what you want in life. Anyway, I'm sure it would be much better appreciated when you have what you want if you can also sit back and sigh a great big sigh of accomplishment. It feels good to know that you've done something big and important all on your own ... Don't miss out on that feeling.
5 Things I Want To Tell My Children Before I Die
  1. I hope I've done the right things as a mom. I've loved you all your lives, and I prayed daily for you. I hope I did it right.
  2. Don't forget about God. He has loved you since the dawn of time, and He will see you through losing you mother. You will not ever truly be without me, as there are bits and pieces of me instilled in your hearts, and in your memories.
  3. This is only temporary. Provided I have done my job as your mother, you are saved by the grace of God and the crucifixion of His Son who came to die for you. Provided I have done my job, I am not really gone away, but gone to wait for you in Heaven where I can get started finding out the answers to all the questions you asked when you were little.
  4. Take care of each other. You are sisters and you need to realize and remember what an incredible gift that relationship is. Support each other in the way that I would have, love each other unconditionally, and each of you remember to be someone the other can always run to.
  5. And last? Just in case I die before I get to meet my grandchildren ... I hope you each have children that are just like you. Then you can see for yourselves what you put me through ... and also enjoy the many blessings.
5 Things I Want My Children To Know Before They Die
  1. The love of Jesus Christ who tore the veil between us and God, that we might be allowed to bask in His glory and enjoy true relationship with Him.
  2. The love of real family relationship ... nothing beats knowing someone that looks like you and loves you all the time. Nothing beats sharing memories with someone who is special to you, whether you share blood or not. Remember that while shared blood is a bonus, it is not a requirement for someone to qualify in the heart as "family". If I'm already gone and you don't believe me, ask your Aunt Jessica. We may not be blood, but she and Aunt Dana are the best family I ever had, other than you.
  3. "True Love". The kind that makes you smile when you hear his name, that makes your skin break out in goose bumps seconds before he touches you. The kind that makes you forget the rest of the world for a little while. The kind that is still going strong even when lust has burned away. And trust me, it will.
  4. The innocent love of a child. There is nothing like a child's love, and I hope you each get to experience the innocent way in which a child gives his or her heart to those who are worthy.
  5. And last? I want you to have known what it's like to sit back at the end of the day and simply be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and whatever your life may have become.
And for this one, I've got a number 6.  Just in case you should die before me, please know that I will remember always the lessons I have learned as your mother. I will cherish every memory, and keep you alive always in my heart while I wait to meet you again in Heaven someday.